Janet Evanovich was born on April 22, 1943 in South River, New Jersey. She received a bachelor's degree in art from Douglas College, which is part of Rutgers University. She was working as a secretary for a temporary employment agency when she sold her first romance novel, Hero at Large, which was published in 1987 under the pseudonym Steffie Hall. She went on to write 12 romances in five years using her real name before beginning to write mysteries. Her first mystery novel, One for the Money, became the first book in the Stephanie Plum series. Her title in this series, Top Secret Twenty-One, made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2014. She is also the author of the Alex Barnaby series, A Between-the-Numbers Novel series, Lizzy and Diesel series, and Full series with Charlotte Hughes. She has also written several books with Lee Goldberg including The Heist and The Chase.
Susan K. Harris is Professor of American Literature at Penn State University, University Park. She is the author of books and articles on 19th-century women writers and on Mark Twain.
Catharine Maria Sedgwick (1789-1867) was one of the first American women authors to gain prominence. She was born in Massachusetts, where she set several of her works. She published six novels and later wrote on domestic and social issues. Susan K. Harris teaches in the English department of the University of Kansas and is the editor of Harriet Beecher Stowe's The Minister's Wooingin Penguin Classics. Emily E. Van Dette is a doctoral candidate at the Pennsylvania State University.